Partners mark launch of transit facility improvements in Lynnwood that will significantly improve commute times

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Sound Transit joined with federal, state and community partners today for a ceremonial groundbreaking on improvements at the Lynnwood Transit Facility, southern Snohomish County's most vital transit hub. The improvements should shave up to 15 minutes off bus rides between Snohomish and King counties during heavy commuting periods.

In addition to a new transit center featuring additional bus bays, 300 more parking spaces and improved amenities, the project will include a new HOV interchange giving buses and carpools direct access to I-5's HOV lanes.

"The benefits for bus riders who commute between the counties will be dramatic," said Sound Transit Board Chair and King County Executive Ron Sims. "Everyone else will benefit too, since the interchange will improve traffic conditions in the area of the transit center by removing many bus routes from streets near the I-5 interchange and reducing congestion caused by merging vehicles on I-5."

The transit center's improved amenities will include larger passenger waiting areas, better weather protection, enhanced public safety, improved lighting, public art and traffic signals. There will be intersection improvements at 48th Avenue West and 200th Street Southwest as well as 46th Avenue West and 200th Street Southwest. The station site will feature an extensive stormwater drainage system to protect salmon habitat.

The City of Lynnwood worked closely with Sound Transit to create a facility that will complement the City's planned Central Business District project.

The Lynnwood facility is the transit hub for south Snohomish County, serving 20 Sound Transit, Community Transit and Metro bus routes. Sound Transit remains on track to complete the project within a $64.2 million budget. Transit center improvements are scheduled to conclude in fall 2003, followed by completion of HOV/Direct Access Ramp construction in early 2005.

"This project is a particularly important one for Snohomish County citizens and regional commuters," said U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee. "Securing strong federal support for these investments will continue to be a top priority for me and other members of our congressional delegation."

Planning for the project was carried out in partnership with elected officials, agency staff members and community and business leaders participating in an Executive Advisory Committee. Groups represented include the City of Lynnwood, South Snohomish Chamber of Commerce, Edmonds School District, Community Transit and its Citizen Advisory Committee, the Snohomish County Committee for Improved Transportation, Transit Now, the Washington State Department of Transportation, the Federal Transit Administration, the Federal Highway Administration and the League of Women Voters.

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Sound Transit plans, builds and operates regional transit systems and services to improve mobility for Central Puget Sound.